Tea: Darjeeling, Puttabong Estate, 1st Flush

A Darjeeling First Flush from Simpson & Vail - O Organic

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Darjeeling, Puttabong Estate, 1st Flush
Brand:Simpson & Vail
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Region:Darjeeling, India
# Ratings:1 View All

Review of Darjeeling, Puttabong Estate, 1st Flush

10 of 104 of 54 of 584 of 100
OutstandingGoodGood Value

A tricky-to-brew tea that reminded me a lot of green oolongs from Taiwan, and required a lower water temperature to brew to satisfaction.

The dry leaf, quite broken, is an intense green color, like a lot of good Darjeeling first flush. It looks exactly like pictured in the company photo (I appreciate honest photography!) Very fresh smell, a slight hint of sweet malt and strong floral and vegetal notes, honey-like, very fresh smelling too. I love the smell and I'm excited to try this.

The brewed cup has a delightful aroma, with floral and vegetal notes resembling green oolongs, and that characteristic Darjeeling grape-like fruitiness. Like with some of these oolongs, the aroma is also slightly soapy though.

I was a little disappointed the first couple times I brewed this. I found that brewing temperature was the secret: this tea really cannot handle boiling water. It made a BIG difference...with boiling water, the tea had some off qualities, was oddly thin yet too bitter and also oddly sour, and made me feel a bit jittery after drinking it. I even went a little lower than recommended, brewing this more like a green tea, at about 180°F/82°C, and this produced good results.

Brewed ideally, the aromatic qualities of the leaf came out more. The cup was still a little thin-bodied, but the bitterness and sourness were reduced and the cup tasted more balanced. On the strong side for me, caffeine-wise. I wouldn't drink this one late in the day; it's good if you want a bit of a kick.

Resteeped well; the second cup was a bit thin-bodied but retained a lot of the fresh, vegetal and floral, oolong-like aromatic qualities of the first.

This tea was pricey, but not compared to other first-flush teas of this caliber. The main reason I'd say this tea doesn't offer the best value is that, to me, it's competing with similar-tasting Taiwanese teas of a lower price that are easier to brew, produce more infusions, and are less caffeinated.

If you like very green first flush teas, and especially if you are also a fan of green Taiwanese oolongs like Pouchong / Bao Zhong or very green Dong Ding, you might really like this one. Just be careful with the brewing temperature; it's much pickier than an oolong.

Add your own review

Login or Sign Up to comment on this review.